Pubdate: Mon, 29 Apr 2002
Source: New London Day (CT)
Copyright: 2002 The Day Publishing Co.
Author: Alan Randell
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


To the Editor of The Day:

On April 24, The Day ran an announcement about a Ledyard forum for parents 
on illegal drug use. I agree that a good idea to talk to parents about 
drugs but why have it done by narcotics cops and youth workers, two groups 
who are big on the patronizing, authoritarian approach to communicating 
with kids and who know next to nothing about drugs or the Bill of Rights?

Dollars to donuts the presentation won't include information like this:

* Why do governments prohibit certain drugs? Is it to protect users from harm?

No, that can't be the reason because users suffer more (adulterated drugs 
and jail time) when a drug is banned as compared to when it is legally 
available. My wife and I became well-acquainted with this aspect of 
government policy when we lost our 19-year-old son to street heroin in 
1993. Besides, two of our more dangerous drugs, alcohol and tobacco, are legal.

* Is it to reduce the crime associated with illegal drugs?

No, that can't be the reason because banning a drug always gives rise to 
more crime (drug cartels, petty crimes by users as prohibition makes drug 
prices much higher, violent disputes between dealers) than when the drug is 
legally available.

* Is it to distract attention away from more important issues by conducting 
a brutal, Hitler-like pogrom to ruin the lives of the innocent few who 
ingest or sell certain drugs -- with the additional "benefit" of allowing 
our politicians and cops the pleasure of strutting and preening before us 
as they promise to ride out like St. George and slay the fearsome and 
deadly dragon of drugs while sticking the taxpayer with the cost of bigger 
budgets and free drugs for our police officers?

Bingo. Hitler's armies may have lost the war but, sadly, his ideas seem to 
have found ready acceptance all across the "civilized" world.

Alan Randell, Victoria, British Columbia
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